For some kids, being able to keep up with friends in the hallway at their school is a great accomplishment, says physical therapist AnnMarie S. Pace, MPT.
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She often works with children who have neurological challenges, who may need help in the way they walk. This can include children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida or traumatic brain injury.
Ms. Pace and her team begin with a motion analysis, which is a painless test that makes creative use of fiber optic cameras and other technology. To get a full picture of how a child walks, or their gait, the test records the movement of the hip, knee, ankle and pelvis, and it shows what’s happening in three planes of motion.
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How it works
First, knob-like markers are stuck to a child’s body. Then, as the child walks, a camera records the movement, particularly the way the markers move.
This gives therapists and others on the medical team a picture of how a child walks in three dimensions. From this data, the pediatric care team can see how to best help a child walk and run with the best form.
Watch this video, and get a closer look at what goes on in a pediatric gait analysis lab.
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